This is what happens in Fiji when the Warriors lose (see the head in hands?). But we also had a few at the institute rooting for the Cavaliers, so we saw high fives and smiles, too. Still can’t get over the fact that those teams are of such great interest here — even though only watched on a tiny cell phone.
We had fun helping Peni create his LDS account and prepare to submit mission papers this week. One day as he conducted our opening exercise before a lesson, it was as if I could see him as a future leader here. I hope that comes true.
As Elder Whitehead taught a lesson on Tuesday about Adam, Eve, and the importance of marriage, he showed a picture of us on our wedding day. The class loved it when we struck the same pose we did 39 years ago. The YSAs love looking at our family pictures, and seeing us in our younger years. We all had a good laugh at how different we look now. Some were surprised that I used to have dark hair – they thought I was blond (no joke). Wednesday we had another great experience performing baptisms. We love doing that.
Thursday Liahona invited me to come to the temple as she received her endowment, and it was a wonderful experience. I’ve never seen such a happy crowd of extended family and friends to meet someone afterwards! I was thankful to see she had that much support because her parents live far away and couldn’t be there. FYI: It is a common thing here to see people walk outside to the front porch of the temple in their white clothing.
Friday the Institute was closed for National Sports Day, so we drove two hours up the coral coast and spent Friday afternoon and Saturday at the Outrigger Resort. We’ve never experienced anything like it, and hope to be able to go there again.
Both Sumeet and Vicky gave talks in the Samabula ward today. Because it was Vicky’s first talk as a new convert, he asked Elder Whitehead for help preparing it. I gave Sumeet a reference for his talk. We drove from our ward after sacrament meeting to theirs so we could hear them speak, then back to ours again, but it was worth it. We were happy to see that Sumeet’s mother came to hear him, too. It is a rare blessing for a YSA here to have parents who are faithful in the gospel, and yet they are as committed as any of Helaman’s stripling warriors. Single adults fill many (or most) ward callings.
Today was our last Sunday in the Suva 3rd ward. I will miss meeting with these lovely sisters. Sister Tuivaga (pink scarf) is a recent convert and has been especially kind to me.
We will also miss seeing these darling twin boys (Isaac and Zach, Lydia’s brother’s) in their sulus each Sunday. What little boy wouldn’t just love being able to go barefoot to church?! Bare feet, sulus, dogs and frogs, it’s all the same gospel, and we love it.